Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries

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Start Date: Jul 7 2007
Location: Cape Ann Historical Museum



Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries

This summer, the Cape Ann Historical Museum will host Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries, a scholarly exhibition exploring the artistic relationship between Fitz Henry Lane and his most famous student and sometime collaborator, Mary Mellen. Curated by noted Lane expert John Wilmerding, the exhibition will include works by both Lane and Mellen, the majority of them displayed side by side for the first time. In addition to ten Lane and Mellen paintings from the Museum’s own collection, the exhibit includes work from the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME; Museum of the City of New York, and from other institutions and private collections. The exhibition will open to the public in Gloucester on Saturday, July 7, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. A preview gala will be held the prior evening. Tickets to the gala are available by calling the Museum at (978) 283-0455.

This is the first major survey of Mary Mellen’s work and will offer viewers new insights into both her accomplishments and the unique relationship that evolved between teacher and student. ‘It’s a connoisseur’s exhibition,’ says Wilmerding. ‘We have matched up her versions of subjects with Lane’s versions of the subjects'(but) until we get the pictures up side by side we won’t have all the answers. That’s one of the purposes of the show,’ Wilmerding goes on to say, ‘to help clarify Lane’s art but to also bring to light Mellen’s particular style.’

A catalogue with an essay by Wilmerding will accompany the exhibition. A lecture series devoted to placing Lane and Mellen in the context of their times is also planned. Speakers include Carol Troyen, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Painting, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art History, Yale University.

Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries will remain on display at the Cape Ann Historical Museum through September 16, and then travel to Spanierman Gallery in New York, opening on October 4. The exhibition is funded in part thanks to the generous support of Gorton’s Seafood and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Cape Ann Historical Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $6.50 adults; $6.00 seniors, and $4.50 students. The Museum is wheelchair accessible.

For additional information on the exhibition and lecture series, please call the Cape Ann Historical Museum at (978) 283-0455 or visit www.capeannhistoricalmuseum.org.